2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial Begins Thursday | WBEZ
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Biennial Architecture Event Will Bring Ideas, Programs To Loop And Beyond

Organizers of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial said Tuesday that the five-month event on architecture and urban living will extend from downtown into the city’s neighborhoods.

The Biennial runs Thursday through Jan. 5 and will include exhibits, discussions and performances focused on architecture and design. All programs are free and open to the public.

Some of the Biennial exhibits and programs will be at the Chicago Cultural Center at 78 E. Washington St. But the ambitious schedule includes live performances, film screenings and discussions in neighborhoods such as Bronzeville on the South Side and Homan Square on the West Side.

One program planned with the Chicago-based National Public Housing Museum will feature audio recordings inside a replica of early public housing. Another exhibit, called “The Block House,” will address the issue of creating affordable housing.

“We have to think about the broader ecosystem,” said Biennial artistic director Yesomi Umolu.

“This is the place that the skyscraper was birthed; we have a very special connection to Lake Michigan, to nature,” Umolu added during a media preview of Biennial.

Started in 2015, the Biennial draws more than 500,000 visitors to Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.

She said the 2019 Biennial focuses on how “architecture and design itself collaborates with the culture, history and ecology around it.”

The Biennial is a nonprofit group that organizes the event with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Carrie Shepherd is a news reporter for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter at @cshepherd.

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